tv [untitled] April 27, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm PDT
>> i'm your host of "culturewire," and today, here at electric works in san francisco. nice to see you today. thanks for inviting us in and showing us your amazing facility today. >> my pleasure. >> how long has electric works been around? >> electric works has been in san francisco since the beginning of 2007. we moved here from brisbane from our old innovation. we do printmaking, gallery shows, and we have a fabulous retail store where there are lots of fun things to find. >> we will look at all of that as we walk around. it is incredible to me how many
different things you do. how is it you identify that san francisco was in need of all these different services? >> it came from stepping out of graduate school in 1972. i wrote a little thing about how this is an idea, how our world should work. it should have printmaking, archiving, a gallery. it should have a retail store. in 1972, i wanted to have art sales, point-of-sale at the grocery store. >> so you go through the manifesto. with the bay area should have. you are making art incredibly accessible in so many different ways, so that is a good segue. let's take a walk around the facilities. here we are in your gallery space. can you tell me about the current show? >> the current show is jeff chadsey. he is working on mylar velum, a
smooth, beautiful drawing surface. i do not know anyone that draws as well as he does. it is perfect, following the contours and making the shape of the body. >> your gallery represents artists from all over, not just the bay area, an artist that work in a lot of different media. how to use some of what you look for in artists you represent? >> it is dependent on people are confident with their materials. that is a really important thing. there is enough stuff in the world already. >> you also have in his current show an artist who makes sculpture out of some really interesting types of materials. let's go over and take a look at that. here we are in a smaller space. project gallery. >> artists used the parameters of this space to find
relationships between the work that is not out in the big gallery. >> i noticed a lot of artists doing really site-specific work. >> this is a pile of balloons, something that is so familiar, like a child's balloon. in this proportion, suddenly, it becomes something out of a dream. >> or a nightmare. >> may be a nightmare. >> this one over here is even harder to figure out what the initial material is. >> this is made out of puffy paint. often, kids use it to decorate their clothes. she has made all these lines of paint. >> for the pieces we are looking at, is there a core of foam or something in the middle of these pieces that she built on top of? >> i'm not telling. >> ah, a secret. >> this silver is aluminum foil, crumbled of aluminum foil.
her aesthetic is very much that quiet, japanese spatial thing that i really admire. their attention to the materiality of the things of the world. >> this is a nice juxtaposition you have going on right now. you have a more established artists alongside and emerging artists. is that something important to you as well? >> very important in this space, to have artists who really have not shown much. now let's look at other aspects of electric works operation. let's go to the bookstore. >> ok. >> in all seriousness, here we are in your store. this is the first space you encounter when you come in off the street. it has evolved since you open here into the most amazingly curious selection of things.
>> this was the project for the berkeley art museum. it was -- this is from william wiley's retrospective, when he got up onstage to sing a song, 270 people put on the cat. >> it is not just a bookstore. it is a store. can you talk us through some of your favorites? >> these are made in china, but they are made out of cattails. >> these pieces of here, you have a whale head and various animals and their health over there, and they are jewelry. >> we do fund raisers for nonprofits, so we are doing a project for the magic theater, so there are some pretty funny cartoons. they are probably not for prime time. >> you sort of have a kind of holistic relationship where you might do merchandise in the store that promotes their work
and practice, and also, prince for them. maybe we should go back and look at the print operation now. >> let's go. >> before we go into the print shop, i noticed some incredible items you have talked back here. what are we standing in front of? >> this is william wiley, only one earth. this is a print edition. there are only eight total, and what we wanted to do was expand the idea of printmaking. this is really an art object. there we go. >> besides the punball machine, what do you produce in limited edition? >> there is the slot machine. if you win the super jackpot, you have saved the world. >> what about work?
>> the right design, it was three volumes with lithographs in each volume. the cab of count dracula with 20 lithographs inside and lined with beaver fur. really special. >> let's move on to the print shop. >> ok. the core of what we do is making things. this is an example. this is a print project that will be a fund-raiser for the contemporary music players. we decided to put it in the portfolio so you could either frame at or have it on your bookshelf. >> so nonprofits can come to you, not just visual are nonprofits, but just nonprofits can come to you, and you will produce prints for them to sell, and the profits, they can keep. >> the return on investment is usually four times to 10 times
the amount of investment. this is for the bio reserve in mexico, and this is one of the artists we represent. >> you also make prints for the artists that you represent. over here are some large prints by a phenomenal artist. >> he writes these beautiful things. anyone who has told you paradise is a book of rules is -- has only appeared through the windows. this is from all over coffee. we are contract printers for all kinds of organizations all across the country. >> thank you very much for showing us around today. i really appreciate you taking the time to let me get better acquainted with the operation and also to share with our "culturewire" team.